Top 7 WordPress Accessibility Plugins Every Website Should Be Using in 2023
Web accessibility refers to ensuring websites can be accessed even by disabled users. If you are looking for an easy way to improve your WordPress accessibility, installing a plugin may be the answer.
There are several website accessibility guidelines and regulations to follow. These include the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Section 508 for the US. With WordPress accessibility plugins, you can make your site more compliant with these standards.
However, with many WordPress plugins available, choosing the right one for your site may be difficult. Continue reading as we explore seven of the best WordPress accessibility plugins based on factors like downloads, rating, price, and key features.
Why Web Accessibility Is Important
Here are several reasons why improving the accessibility of your WordPress website is crucial.
The internet has become an increasingly important tool in our everyday lives. People use it for everything from employment to health care.
By making your WordPress site accessible, you will provide equal access for everyone, from disabled people to those with temporary impairments, like people recovering from surgery.
Creating an accessibility-compliant website can widen your audience reach. Addressing website accessibility issues on your site will enable more people to read your content easily. This may increase the overall traffic and visibility of your site. As a result, this increased traffic can turn into more sales and conversions on a business website.
Improve SEO Rankings
When implementing WordPress SEO tips, it is important to remember that search engine crawlers mimic human user behavior. As such, there is a significant overlap between qualities affecting accessibility and ones influencing SEO rank.
For example, adding descriptive alt text improves accessibility, as screen readers will read this text aloud to provide information about the image content to visually impaired users.
On the other hand, search engine crawlers also use alternative text to understand images and content on a web page. The better these bots can understand your web content, the higher you’ll rank on search engine results pages. Therefore, better web accessibility means better SEO performance.
Top 7 WordPress Accessibility Plugins
In this section, we will recommend seven of the best WordPress accessibility plugins. Our experts have chosen these WordPress plugins after thorough research and testing, considering factors like downloads, rating, price, and key features.
- Downloads: 100,000+
- Rating: 4.6/5
- Price: free
Initially developed for the Pojo themes, the One Click Accessibility plugin has become compatible with all WordPress themes. This free accessibility plugin requires minimal time and effort to set up – no coding knowledge is necessary.
One Click Accessibility offers numerous features to improve your WordPress website accessibility by providing visitors with an easy-to-use toolbar. This accessibility toolbar can add links to your Sitemap, Help, and Feedback pages. As a result, visitors can navigate the site and get in touch with you regarding accessibility matters easier.
- Customizable the accessibility toolbar display settings. Choose to show or hide the accessibility toolbar on various device types like computers, tablets, and phones. Additionally, you can rename the toolbar title.
- Resize fonts and readable font. Let users change the font size on the accessibility toolbar. In addition, include a readable font button that turns a stylized font into a more readable one, helping users with dyslexia.
- High and negative contrast. One Click Accessibility offers high and negative contrast tools on the sidebar to provide a stark difference between the content and background colors. This increases text readability for colorblind people and users with poor vision.
- Skip to the content link. Located at the top of the page, this lets screen readers and keyboard navigation users go to the main content instead of having to navigate through menu items.
- Outline focus. One Click Accessibility lets you add an outline focus feature to interactive elements. This is to help keyboard navigation users who go through the page using the Tab key.
- Link target attribute remover. When a user clicks on a link containing the target attribute, it will automatically open a new window. Unfortunately, this feature may be disorienting for disabled users. Removing the target attributes lets the user decide whether to open a new window.
- Link role adder. Links have many different purposes. For example, they can take the user to other sites or serve as page navigation buttons. The ARIA link role indicates to a screen reader that the link’s purpose is to create a hyperlink to an internal or external resource. This tool adds the role=”link” to all links on the page.
- Downloads: 50,000+
- Rating: 3.5/5
- Price: freemium
Due to its numerous tools, UserWay’s Accessibility Widget is one of the best accessibility plugins for WordPress. Users can install the WordPress plugin within minutes without having any coding knowledge. This accessibility plugin has both free and premium options. The free version featured on the official WordPress site comes with limited features. It also provides only up to 20% ADA compliance, unlike the up to 90% compliance rate offered by the paid version.
It offers three premium plans: Small Site at $49/month, Medium Site at $129/month, and Large Site at $329/month. Additionally, it offers a 10-day free trial with no credit card required. Examples of the pro features are form validation and AI-generated image alt text.
- Large cursor. It increases the standard cursor size by 400%. This addresses accessibility problems for visually impaired users, ensuring they can always easily find the pointer.
- Numerous text display options. Increase readability for visually impaired users by adjusting different text display settings. For example, you can offer different text sizes, modify text spacing, provide a text alignment tool, and change the line height.
- Color inversion and desaturation. Inversion means flipping colors to their opposite, while desaturation makes colors appear more muted. Both are helpful for visually impaired people as they increase readability and make elements easier to distinguish.
- Reading guide. This feature turns the cursor into a horizontal reading guide with high contrast. It helps focus the eyes when reading, reducing eye strain for users with dyslexia, cognitive disabilities, or visual impairments.
- Screen reader. This tool helps read page content aloud for visually impaired readers.
- Live site translations. Translate your WordPress website into over 40 languages to increase accessibility worldwide.
- Reset All tool. Visitors can adjust the site’s accessibility settings to match their needs and save the configuration for future visits. This reset tool is also available if the user needs to return all settings to default.
- Downloads: 40,000+
- Rating: 4.8/5
- Price: free
WP Accessibility helps identify and remediate common accessibility issues in WordPress themes, website content, and core. It is one of the best accessibility plugins to try. Users can enable or disable all plugin features according to their needs. Although coding knowledge is not necessary to set up this free accessibility plugin, advanced users can customize the feature styles by modifying style sheets in the theme directory.
- Language and text direction attribute adder. WP Accessibility adds language and text direction attributes specifying the primary language and default direction of text on a web page. This helps screen readers pronounce words correctly.
- Skip navigation links. Provide visitors with helpful skip links for navigating the page. The links also have a customizable appearance and user-defined targets – parts of the page the skip links will take users to.
- Form labeling. This free plugin has a tool for labeling the standard WordPress form fields. Labels let assistive technologies announce form control functions, such as radio buttons or checkboxes, for users who cannot make the connection visually.
- Accessible Read More links. WP Accessibility lets you add post titles to the Read More links to help screen reader users understand which post a link will lead to.
- Color contrast tester. Check whether your site complies with the foreground-background contrast requirements regulated by WCAG 2.1.
- CSS problem checker. Enable CSS diagnostics and find CSS-detectable accessibility issues in the visual editor or your site’s front end.
- Downloads: 20,000+
- Rating: 4.7/5
- Price: freemium
WP Accessibility Helper (WAH) is another WordPress accessibility plugin you can use to make your website more accessible. This plugin helps reduce access barriers using a Document Object Model (DOM) scanner to check all site pages and posts for accessibility issues. The free version is available with limited features. As for the paid version, it offers four different plans: WAH PRO at $199/year, WAH PRO 2 at $392/year, WAH PRO 5 at $959, and WAH PRO 10 at $1,819/year. Examples of the pro accessibility features are accessible pop-up windows and monochrome and sepia modes.
- Sidebar customization options. Choose between the dark or light sidebar theme and pick whether to display it on the left or right side of the screen. In addition, it comes with keyboard shortcuts that let users open and close the sidebar.
- Readable font button. In addition to the option to resize fonts, the sidebar provides a readable font button people can click to change a stylized font into a simpler one, like Times New Roman, Arial, and Tahoma.
- CSS unloader. This tool unloads all CSS files so you can see the page in its raw HTML form. Disabling CSS is a great way to ensure the web content is still understandable without CSS element styles and colors.
- Link highlight. WP Accessibility Helper offers the tool to highlight and underline all links on the page, helping users find them easily.
- HTML5 landmark control center. Configure the HTML5 landmark elements with this feature. For assistive technology users, landmarks may serve as replacements for skip links. This is because assistive tools can navigate to a specific section on a page based on the HTML5 element.
- CSS animation remover. This content accessibility tool removes site animations created using CSS. Although they may look visually pleasing to some people, these animations may cause dizziness or seizures for certain disabled users.
- Contrast mode. Visitors can choose a dark or light background by changing it to their desired color, thereby increasing contrast and readability. Some color choices include black, white, and yellow. This is especially useful for people with photosensitivity issues.
- Downloads: 4,000+
- Rating: 5/5
- Price: freemium
WP ADA Compliance Check Basic is a WordPress accessibility plugin helping websites comply with various web accessibility standards like the ADA, Section 508, and WCAG 2.1 Level AA. It does this by running complete scans of website posts and pages. This plugin also has integrated WAVE scanning that is accessible from the WordPress dashboard.
Users of this free WordPress plugin are limited to scanning 15 posts or pages with 52 error checks. Unlike the free version, the premium plugin has no post limit, offers users over 75 error checks, and can identify accessibility issues in the WordPress theme files.
There are four premium license types for the WP ADA Compliance Check Basic plugin: 1 Site License with one year of support and updates for $179.99, 1 Site License with lifetime support and updates for $565.99, 5 Site License for $849.99, and 10 Site License for $1,399.99.
- Comprehensive error reports. The WordPress accessibility plugin provides detailed reports of accessibility issues with guideline references and easy-to-follow instructions. You can filter and search reports by keyword, post, and error type. Additionally, it lets you email or print reports.
- Contrast ratio checker. Check your foreground and background color values to see if the ratio already meets the accessibility standards. According to WCAG 2.1, the contrast ratio should be 4.5:1 for standard text and 3:1 for large text.
- Landmark checker. This feature tells you if you’ve incorporated the HTML5 landmark regions into the site and labeled them correctly.
- Language attribute checker. This tool makes sure you’ve included the attribute indicating the content’s primary language to assistive tools.
- Heading order checker. Nesting headings properly according to their ranks can help site visitors understand the structure of web content. It also aids navigation for screen reader and keyboard navigation users.
- Missing alt text checker. It checks if any of your images are missing the alternative text. Additionally, it can check for alternative text containing filler words.
- Downloads: 1,000+
- Rating: 5/5
- Price: freemium
Created by accessibility experts, Equalize Digital Accessibility Checker is a WordPress plugin for improving or ensuring ongoing compliance with web accessibility regulations. It offers real-time feedback by automatically scanning new or newly updated posts against over 40 accessibility rules. The tool also provides error notifications right in the post editor. It offers four plans: Personal for free, Professional at $144/year, Small Business at $600/year, and Agency at $1800/year. Some helpful accessibility features, like bulk scanning of posts and a centralized list of open accessibility issues, are only available to paying users.
- Unlimited page scanning. Scan an unlimited number of posts or pages – even if you only opt for the free version.
- Readability analysis. It offers a Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test to find out if the text is not too difficult to understand. Additionally, it is possible to add a simplified summary to meet the WCAG 2.1 reading level criterion.
- Ignore feature. Close error or warning notifications if you’ve determined they’re irrelevant after manual assessment. In addition, you can add notes, usernames, and the date and time for each notification you ignore.
- Accessibility statement. It provides an accessibility statement draft you can edit and publish on your site. Insert this statement in the site footer with just a click.
- Detailed documentation. This WordPress accessibility plugin offers numerous articles and instructions to help you learn more about and fix accessibility problems.
- Downloads: 10,000+
- Rating: 4.4/5
- Price: plugin is free but must be used together with premium software
If you’re looking for a powerful web accessibility solution and don’t mind paying for it, consider accessiBe’s accessWidget. It is an AI-powered service for enhancing any site’s accessibility, providing daily scans and analyses to ensure ongoing compliance. Furthermore, the software is available in 12 languages.
The three main premium plans for accessWidget are Standard at $49/month, Large at $149/month, and Huge at $199/month. Additionally, the Enterprise plan starting at $990/month, is available for sites with over 100,000 monthly visitors. Furthermore, you can test it for free, as the WordPress accessibility plugin offers a 7-day free trial period for all plans. Although accessiBe provides a free plugin on the official WordPress directory, users can only use it together with the premium accessiBe software. Developers created the plugin to help users connect to the software and configure the installation without coding. As such, the following list will consist of the accessWidget software’s features instead of the free plugin’s.
- Accessibility profiles. In addition to individual adjustments, accessWidget offers accessibility profiles. These combine common accessibility features addressing specific disabilities. For example, when users click the Vision Impaired profile, all features accommodating vision impairment will become active simultaneously.
- Content display adjustments. This accessibility interface section contains adjustable accessibility options to increase text readability. Examples of features include title and link highlight, font size changer, text magnifier, letter spacing, and text alignment.
- Color and contrast settings. This section includes all the color and contrast settings users can adjust for a more visually-pleasing browsing experience. Examples of these accessibility options include contrast, saturation, and text and background colors.
- Orientation options. These include accessibility settings for guiding the eyes and reducing distractions – great for people with vision, cognitive, or motor impairments. Examples are its reading guide, enlarged cursor, animation stopper, and sound muter.
- Online dictionary. Its built-in dictionary provides quick access to word meanings for users with cognitive disabilities and language comprehension difficulties.
- Computer Vision AI. Using the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) AI technology, accessWidget analyzes images and automatically generates alternative text for them.
- Contextual Understanding AI. This technology learns from numerous past encounters to understand the purpose certain site elements serve. Afterward, it adjusts the website’s existing code to provide the optimal browsing experience for screen reader users and show them the exact content on the page, as the author intended.
WordPress plugins are an excellent way to make your website more accessible with little to minimal coding. Improving your web accessibility is important, as it establishes inclusivity, increases audience reach, and improves SEO rankings. If you are still confused about which plugin to choose after reviewing our list of seven of the best WordPress plugins for accessibility, consider our final recommendations. For those looking for free and straightforward WordPress accessibility plugins covering the basics, we recommend One Click Accessibility and WP Accessibility. If you are aiming for a high level of WCAG conformance, Accessibility Widget by UserWay and accessWidget by accessiBe may be the best accessibility WordPress plugins for you.
We hope this article has helped you learn about the accessibility plugins for WordPress and decide which plugin to use to make your website more accessible.
WordPress Accessibility Plugins FAQ
This section answers the most commonly asked questions about accessibility plugins for WordPress sites.
What Are Accessibility Plugins?
Accessibility plugins are software add-ons that add certain features to make the browsing experience more accessible and pleasant for people with various disabilities. These may include users with visual, cognitive, or motor impairments.
Examples of these helpful features are accessibility tools to change font size, modify letter spacing, and add image alternative text.
What Is ADA Compliance?
ADA compliance means complying with the regulations listed in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The act prohibits discrimination against disabled people in various areas, including communications.
More specifically, the ADA Standards for Accessible Design state that all electronic and information technology – including websites – must be accessible to people with disabilities.